The Biochar Handbook: A Practical Guide to Making and Using Bioactivated Charcoal (Paperback)

The Biochar Handbook: A Practical Guide to Making and Using Bioactivated Charcoal By Kelpie Wilson Cover Image

The Biochar Handbook: A Practical Guide to Making and Using Bioactivated Charcoal (Paperback)


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With extensive research, real-world examples, and hands-on applications, this go-to guide offers a comprehensive look at the principles and practices of biochar--and all of its world-changing uses.

Like many human discoveries, biochar has likely been invented, lost, and reinvented multiple times. It can be found in the rich terra preta soils of the Amazon and in the ancient "dark earths" dotting Africa, Asia, and Europe. However, biochar isn't just an archeological curiosity. In The Biochar Handbook, author Kelpie Wilson argues that the simple process of burning organic material in a low-oxygen, low-emission environment could be one of the most powerful tools we have to restore degraded soils and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

In accessible and authoritative prose, Wilson demonstrates that biochar is a low-tech but effective means of reducing wildfire risks, restoring soil carbon, managing manure, weaning farms off of toxic inputs, and producing the best compost ever made.

In this book, you'll also find:

  • A pocket history of biochar
  • Step-by-step instructions on making biochar for yourself
  • Applications for soil water retention, pest deterrence, compost enhancement, and more
  • Inspiring examples of ecosystem restoration and improved forest management
  • Low-cost recipes, including Cultured Biochar and Sustainable Potting Soil

Wilson makes a compelling case that biochar is both simple to make and a potent solution to a host of knotty problems, both global and close to home. Whether you're a gardener, homesteader, rancher, commercial farmer, permaculturalist, or forest manager, this book will show you how to put biochar to work, making you and your community more resilient as a result.

Kelpie Wilson is a mechanical engineer and analyst with 35 years of experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry, and resource conservation. She has worked in the biochar industry since 2008 and was a founding board member of the US Biochar Initiative. She manages the Biochar in the Woods network to promote biochar production in place to benefit native ecosystems. Kelpie researches and teaches techniques for using biochar in compost and manure management and presents many biochar workshops each year to farmers, foresters, and landowners. She owns a biochar consulting business, Wilson Biochar Associates, and sells her Ring of Fire Biochar Kilns through Wilson Biochar, LLC. She lives in rural Oregon, where she makes biochar compost and grows a large organic vegetable garden.
Product Details ISBN: 9781645022305
ISBN-10: 1645022307
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Publication Date: June 27th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English